Another Entrepreneurship Project of the  Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University

Finding a Great Mentor

A successful professional life can be demanding; especially when you’re a woman juggling a career, children and a family. Most often, successful women feel a sense of guilt when they prioritize their family over their profession or vice versa. The truth is, it is not only all right to do this but even necessary to find a balance and prioritize work and life. This is why everyone needs a mentor; someone who you can talk to about things like these, the quick questions, lingering emotions, guidance and when you need a role model to just look up to. A mentor could be anyone: a friend, colleague, industry expert, or boss—this person should be someone you admire and trust and someone who has found success in both work and life (and has a willingness to share their experiences and knowledge with you).

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The following are several tips compiled by Mary Lou Burke Afonso, COO of North American Center operations at Bright Horizons Family Solutions, on how to find such a mentor:

Know what you’re looking for: Take some time to understand what your mentoring needs are; both short- and long-term. Seek a mentor who can help you to work to achieve your goals and someone who can give you honest feedback and guidance. Remember that mentor/mentee relationships last a lifetime, so choose a mentor wisely.

Be open to having more than one mentor: Keeping your mind open to learning from multiple leaders will help you gain different perspectives—watch how different people approach problems, successes and failures. Collecting wisdom from different individuals will give you a chance to tailor your own approach.

Be realistic about what you can give back: Mentorship is a two-way street. You need to remember that success will not come just from listening to advice. The timing needs to be right as well—be sure that you have to be available to get the most of your mentoring experience.

Determine how you want to measure success: Know that you’ve secured a great mentor and that you’ve been taking their advice and making changes in your life, success may not be right around the corner. Develop a list of goals and be sure to schedule regular talks with your mentor to track your own progress.

“Being able to achieve success in both your professional and personal lives sometimes means not doing it all,” says Mary Lou. “It means adjusting day-to-day or week-to-week depending on what is happening in your life. And sometimes it means asking for help from the team you have built around you — your spouse, extended family, or employees.”

For more, read the full article here.

Thanks for reading, and until next time… stay WISE!

Photo by Caitlyn Bom Photography

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